Since your feet may be the first place to show signs of problems with your overall health, it’s important to pay attention to the condition of your feet to see if other health problems may be rearing their ugly heads.
Some of the foot symptoms that can point in the direction of other health issues include:
- Foot cramping—This can be a sign of mineral depletion from not having enough calcium and potassium in your system. Your ligaments, tendons, and muscles need plenty of minerals in order to operate correctly. Another source of foot cramping is dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat a banana every day to boost potassium levels.
- Open wounds—Sores that are not healing properly may be a sign of peripheral nerve damage that is caused by the high blood sugar of the condition known as diabetes.
- Changes in toe appearance—If you no longer see any hair on your toes, that could be a sign of poor blood circulation which would cause nutrient depletion in the hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out. Major diseases including lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary artery disease can cause your toes to look rounded or clubbed in shape.
- Swollen, painful big toe—This is undoubtedly caused by gout, but may also be signs of hallux rigidus, or stiff big toe. Either one can be painful and debilitating.
If the appearance of your feet is causing you concerns, your foot doctor can help to alleviate them. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high quality podiatric care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our conveniently located offices in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.